Booking Through Thursday: Unread

July 9, 2009 at 12:54 am (Memes) ()

btt2 An idea I got from The Toddled Dredge (via K for Kat). Here’s
what she said:

“So here today I present to you an Unread Books Challenge. Give me the list or take a picture of all the books you have stacked on your bedside table, hidden under the bed or standing in your shelf – the books you have not read, but keep meaning to. The books that begin to weigh on your mind. The books that make you cover your ears in conversation and say, ‘No! Don’t give me another book to read! I can’t finish the ones I have!’ “

Most books, I read as soon as I acquire. I’ve always been that way, diving into a new book before we even got home from the library or bookstore. Now, I tear open my mail to see what came, and start it as soon as I can. So most of my unread books, the ones that bother me, are the books I feel I ought to read and  started, then put down for whatever reason–and haven’t yet picked back up. Those are the books that fill me with guilt and despair. Those are the ones I think about when I pick up a fresh book that looks so enticing.

Mine are scattered all over the house, on the coffeetable, on shelves, in my schoolbags, and so on–wherever I go, I trip over a book I ought to be reading–so I won’t take a picture, but here are a few that have been haunting me:

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott (I started it, then put it down and keep forgetting to pick it up)
Therese Racquin by Emile Zola (same as above)
The Perfect Prince by Ann Wroe (ditto!)
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (I got through What Maisie Knew and The Wings of the Dove with no trouble, but this one …)
The Virgin in the Garden by AS Byatt (I enjoyed Possession, but this one does nothing for me a hundred pages in)
The Art of Eating by MFK Fisher (I read two parts, then put it down)
Middlemarch by George Eliot (I keep meaning to pick it up)
Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope (I read the first chapter two years ago)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (slogged through fifty pages before abandoning it)
The Confusion by Neal Stephenson (I am about halfway through, but I misplaced it for a time, and haven’t bothered to pick it back up now that it’s found)
Tom Jones by Samuel Fielding (I have two copies of this! Two!)

Will I ever finish them? Oh, I do hope so. After all, I’m reading Villette right now, and that was on The List for ages!



  1. gautami tripathy said,

    I took ages to finish Waverly. Not worth it!

    Here is my BTT post!

  2. Schatzi said,

    But I HAVE to read Waverley! It’s the ur-historical novel! In English, at least.

  3. Violet said,

    Looks like One Hundred Years of Solitude is in many poeple’s list 🙂

  4. Susan @ Reading Upside Down said,

    I have One Hundred Years of Solitude on my TBR list as well.

    I started Portrait of a Lady but kept picturing Nicole Kidman in the lead role and I found that very offputting. I should try again. *sigh*

  5. Sherrie said,

    I have A Thousand Splendid Suns on my TBR list. Hope to get it read this year. Have a great day!!


  6. Jessica Coleman said,

    Ah, it looks like you’re an aspirational reader.

    Tom Jones was a laugh riot. Portrait of a Lady was depressing, though still worth it. Middlemarch is on my personal top 10 list, and I think it’s a favorite for a lot of people. Not sure if that will help you continue to trudge on… 🙂

  7. uncertainprinciples said,

    One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of those books that becomes more enjoyable the more you read it. It starts off slightly slowly, but once you get into the story, it’s amazing. That’s what I thought, anyway.

  8. Steph said,

    Excellent list! I must confess I haven’t yet made it through anything by Henry James.

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